Cynthia Franklin

Occupation: ProfessorUniversityUniversity of Hawai’i

Organization(s): Hawai’i Coalition for Justice in Palestine (HCJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace-Hawai’i, Organizing Collective for the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)


Cynthia is an English professor at the University of Hawai‘i and coeditor of the journal Biography. She is the author of Academic Lives: Memoir, Cultural Theory and the University Today (2009) and Writing Women’s Communities: The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary Multi-Genre Anthologies (1997). Her essays and review articles appear in American Quarterly, Biography, Cultural Critique, Gay and Lesbian Quarterly, Hitting Critical Mass, Life Writing, LIT, MELUS, and The Contemporary Pacific. She also has essays in Gloria Anzaldúa and AnaLouise Keating’s This Bridge We Call Home, and in Fred Ho’s Diary of a Cancer Warrior: Fighting Cancer and Capitalism at the Cellular Level.

A significant part of her work is collaborative, and it is increasingly focused on Palestine. With Ibrahim Aoude and Morgan Cooper, she co-edited a special issue of Biography, “Life in Occupied Palestine,” available for free download on Project MUSE: This project emerged out of trip to the West Bank on a fellowship from PARC (Palestinian American Research Center). More about this project and events held in relation to it in London, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Palestine can be found on the website.

Over the course of the last several years, she has been especially interested in bringing Palestinian activists and scholars to Hawai’i to discuss their work and meet with Kanaka Maoli activist/scholars to forge solidarities between these two different sites of settler colonialism. She founded UH Faculty and Students for Justice in Palestine, and co-founded the Hawai’i Coalition for Justice in Palestine (HCJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace-Hawai’i. Through her initiatives with these groups, she has organized visits by Noura Erakat, Remi Kanazi, Nadera Shalhoub, Steven Salaita, and Mai Hasan and Noor Daghlas (students who were part of Birzeit’s R2E tour). At the national level, she is on the Steering Committee for the Organizing Collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI). Cynthia has worked on the American Studies Association campaign to pass a resolution to support the academic boycott of Israeli institutions, and with the MLA members for Justice in Palestine.